Minutes, 11/13 Meeting

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Demands Working Group

Minutes 11/13/11

 

Facilitator: Eric L

Minutes: Steven

Stack: Leah

 

Brief overview of meeting:

The meeting went from 8:25-9:00.

-At the start of the meeting newly arrived members wished to discuss whether the Demands Working Group should be disbanded.  The question of whether the movement should issue demands was discussed for around thirty minutes.  A person then approached the group and announced to us that the GA was being hijacked, and the newly arrived members then requested that the proposal to disband the group be tabled to next meeting so that they could leave to attend the GA.  The group consensed on tabling the proposal.

-The remaining group then discussed different ideas for new demands for new sub-groups to form around.  Some of the ideas that were discussed included: restore democracy/end corporate personhood, abrogation of private debt, Glass-Steagall, shorter working hours, a union rights demand focusing on the repeal of taft-hartley, and a call for impeaching Obama.

-The group then moved to a discussion of report backs from other groups.  The jobs demand has so far been endorsed by the labor outreach group and now by Spanish language group.  Leah and Peter reported positive responses to the jobs demand from Occupy Harlem and other immigrants rights groups.  Eric also reported that the Central Labor Council has called for a march in support of a more watered down version of the jobs demand.

-The group then discussed what it should do about groups of people attending meetings who do not think OWS should adopt demands.  The group consensed around the following proposal: The group does not feel that it has the power to disband itself, and it will not discuss disbanding itself. The group, however, is willing to discuss the idea that the movement should not issue demands.  If people wish to discuss the idea that the movement should not adopt demands a period of ten minutes will be set aside to do so at the end of next meeting.

-Finally we discussed ideas for the agenda for next meeting.  These items included when the jobs demand should be brought back to the GA and the discussion of any new demands and introduction of new demands sub-groups.

 

 

Meeting begins around 8:25 PM with a discussion of different ideas to be added to the agenda.

 

Proposed ideas for Agenda:

-Eric (younger): subgroup for financial reform

-Michael: addressing the debt

-xxx: Glass-Steagall demand

-Proposal that this group disband

-Discuss reportbacks from other groups about demands

-Alvin: new demands: aide the process by offering teachins: proposal for the agenda for Tuesday

-Proposal taft-hartley and ending non-unions

-xxx: separate demand which would be expansion on democratically controlled public works which should be managed by the workers involved and local communities

-Leah: proposal for demand for shortening the work week

-Patrick: clarifying question: problem with coming to consensus about the agenda: other groups do not try to come to consensus before determing the agenda, minoritizes already marginalized voices

 

Agenda for the meeting:

-Proposal to disband this group

-Proposals for new demands (abrogate debt, nationalize banks, reinstate glass-steagall, teach-ins about new demands, worker-management and shorter work week)

-Report back from other groups about Demands: 5 minutes

-Discuss process

 

-10 minutes allocated to the proposal to disband the group.

 

-Wally: at last meeting 2 people occupied the meeting for the majority of time: would like to see that two people occupied the meeting for too long: Mr A and Mr B talked for more than 50% of the last minute.

-Eric L: we have a one minute limit accept for proposal; need someone to volunteer to be a time keeper

 

-Patrick speaks for his proposal to disband the group: history of the Demands WG: I was here on the first week, in the second week of the GA the GA consented on disbanding the Demands WG and consented on not having Demands.  We entered a new period: spontaneous groups were formed more like affinity groups.  Issue of hierarchy: whether they are entertaining proposals and bringing them to the GA: have added weight to their name (“Demands WG”); when you bring forward these demands it can create hierarchy.  Inherently in asking for Demands you are accepting that there is a power greater than yourself: autonomous actions: individuals can through their own actions create alternative systems that can either replace or work along the current system.  Dual Power is the term for this.  Asking for demands is accepting that someone is more powerful than you.  It also puts you in the situation where there is the possibility for “compromise” which is something this movement has never been interested in: If you shoot for the best possible goal, you will get the best possible goal.   If you call for Glass-Steagall, you will get something worse than that.  If you call for an organically built revolution that we are building ourselves, you will get something better than that.

 

Opening stack for clarifying questions:

-Marty: Are you ruling out the possibility of compromise or are you saying we shouldn’t work to it?

-Patrick: Working towards compromise is a way to ensure the compromise you will receive is less than what you will get.

-Andy: As far as the hierarchy issue, I butted heads w/ people over the same issue.  We now have a structure where its not one group of people coming up w/ demands and part of what you have to do is go to other groups and show that you’ve done some foot work and show that other people have had some support w/ demands.

-Eric L: Mistatements of fact in your proposal: first of all the minutes of the GA make clear that the GA never decided that there should not be demands.  The GA consented on a principle of solidarity the last section of which was “Demands will follow”.  The two times the GA did addy demands, they said “we have not yet agreed on demands” not that we never shall.  Your historical understanding of demands is wrong: you are telling someone you stole my wallet, you give it back.

-Patrick: direct response: the minutes for the GA are notoriously incomplete.  About half of them have never gone up and most of them are incomplete.  I personally witnessed the demands working group getting disbanded.  Others here have witnessed it.  When you demand that your wallet be given back to you, you are not taking it back.  A demand is always a lack of action and a request.  And this is a movement based on direct action and consensus building.

-Eric younger: many of these points have already been discussed.  Minutes are the only record we have and we have probed the minutes.  We are going back the statement that “demands will follow”.  This proposal is out of order: under principle of free association: people are free to go to the GA; we choose to discuss demands under a working group framework b/c

-Patrick: factual statement that is an error: we have in this movmeent built very much not on written documents but on the experience that is inherent in individuals.  Flaws in that system: difficult to determine exactly what has happened; we need to rely on a collective memory.  There are three people right now here to verify my statement about the demands working group being disbanded.  This is an open arena for expression: why I am allowed to come into this arena and voice my proposal.  Another point that you brought up is that …

-Peter: I am concerned that you are not serious about revolution.  My impression was that this is politics, not an attempt to maintain purity.  Not the case that if you demand once that you are forever condemned to only asking.  I don’t accept the state as a legitimiate authority but it does have the power.

-Wade: I am an anarchist and my goal is revolution.  I don’t get the point about hierarchy b/c it seems to me that those who in favor of making demands are not permitted to organize themselves.  If they are not permitted they are being oppressed and that is a hierarchy.  I don’t see the hierarhcy point at all.  2) point about demands and power: in a situation in which you demand that someone turn over your wallet: is a situation in which there is a conflict of power and we are in the process of working out how to assert our power against the other side.

-Patrick: problem with not asking can we close stack.

Andy: we’re breaking down and need to get back on stack

-Alvin: there is a financial oligarchy that is in the process of following mass murder.  There is a fight to stop mass murder and genoicide.  What do you think if you don’t want to make demands, what is this organic stuff about.  Brutal austerity measures are in place right now, and you don’t want to make demands.  The govt is ours to take; it’s not a hierarchy, it’s called leadership.  Why don’t you join us so that we might take back our demands.

-Marty: the concern… if we say we’re demanding, they’ll say ok come back Tuesday, that’s bullshit.  Remember: issuing a demand is the normal thing to do before you begin a war, revolution, any major change, especially if there is the possibility that there will be severe disruption.  One doesn’t rule out the othe.  You’re right: we take if we have to, but the normal historical way w/ the exception of teh blitzkriegs where there was no asking just taking, but generally in all conflicts you make the demands.

-Eric: temprature check on allocating another 10 minutes or moving on.

-Patrick: I would like to speak before we close stack

-Patrick: I’ve been here since day one so yes I want a revolution.  The idea that a demand is necessary to declare a revolution.  We’re already in a revolution right now.  Our demand is the system we’ve created: we would like to see a GA in every back yard and we would like to see that that happens.  Releasing of demands, inmy opinion, would dampen that from happening.  The alternative to demands are the systems we are building right now.  We are organized on a horizontal scale and our goal and method of action are the same: that’s “dual power”.  Our alternatives will continue to strengthen, grow, and evolve until the other system is obsolete.  By phrasing anything to then you are diminishing the power of that dual-system.

-Eric Younger: temp check on moving on was unclearly phrased: Should we continue this proposal for ten minutes; those who feel good and those who feel bad.  Proposal: most of the group does not want to continue the other proposal

-Andy: I’m glad you (Patrick) came b/c it’s good to have this discussion and relieve these tensions.

-Eric, Eric, and Patrick: we had no consensus on extending the proposal; nothing has been decided and we have an agenda.

-Alvin: can record the number of those who wanted and those who did not want to continue the discussion:

-Patrick: we didn’t reach consensus about one thing or another.  I’m viewing things that are out of process.  There are principles of solidarity w/in the GA: one of which is open (which you have done); the other is that you build towards consensus.

4 in favor of continuting discussion

7 not in favor of contuing discussion

-Eric are there other proposals that we can continue

-Proposal for continuing the discussion for five minutes: 7 in favor, 2 against

-Continue this discussion after the rest of the agenda: 2 in favor, 3

-Eric younger: when the five minutes are exhausted, will you be comfortable w/ moving on?

-Kira: yes

-Eric L stack is open for five minutes

:Kira: Is the demands group just a think tank for discussion or it empowered to make demands?

-Andy: we have turned into more of a think tankt he only thing we do is empower people to go the GA

-Patrick: and we now do outreach

-Eric L: this has always been the case: we only propose demands to the GA

-Kira: my concern is that I’m seeing a lot of white folks here and this is my major concern

-Eric L: most of our meetings there is more diversity; this is our smallest group

-Peter: we’re doing outreach.  I was talking to immigrant groups who fight sweatshops.  So this is not a purely white group

-Leah: I went up to occupy harlem

-Kira: I thought this proposal was to disband this as a working group

-Michael to Patrick: I like some of the things you say, but it looks like we might be bogged down indefintely.  I’m curious about a structure to organize the group so that we can get things done.  You seem to suggest that we’re forcing things.

-Patrick: I don’t think that it’s a weakness that building consensus takes time.  It’s difficulty to make an informed decision about a group w/out using consensus?  Now that we’ve seen that there is such a divide here, we could aim for a third idea.

-Leah: stack closed

-Rob: one of the main concerns that I have w/ issuing a state of demands is that we’re clinging to something that an organization that did an original call to action.  Their original press team: they’re not involved in this anymore.  They gave us this, and this idea transcends them.  It was a great call to action.  But the actual activists who’ve travelled thousands of miles; we are the ones that decided…  Demands is an older organization’s ideas.  Demands weakens us.

-XXX: the statement of solidarity was drafted by people in the park, not adbusters.  Statement of solidarity.

-Patrick: adbusters has released demands on their own; three different ones including an Obama crap.  Principle of solidarity is a working-document.  In the current working-document that sentence does not exist.  It does not need to be passed by the GA.  There is a working-group in charge of it.

-YYY: at our third meeting of the nycga we voted not to have demands by conensus.  This was not the GA, but part of the planning commission.

-Eric younger: this is not how our meetings have been going in the passed.  There is something different about this.  We would encourage them to ask private questions rather than cast aspersions of our understanding.  This illustrates how a non-hierarchical movement can be used in a hierarchical manner.  We do not appreciate it; and many of us do not want to have this discussion.

-ZZZ to Eric: you’re trying to hold your knowledge of this working-group over our head

-Alvin: there is another document you might want to refer to: called the Declaration of Independence.  There were demands laid out there and we’re about to lose that.  The system is going down now and you have to address reality now.  So what if you’ve been here longer.  We’re trying to win the day for humanity.

-Unknown guy: emergency announcement.  Rogue GA attempting to get rid of the GA right now.  Try to attempt to prevent the takeover of the GA.

-Patrick: I would like to table this discussion.  We still have people on stack.  I’m proposing that we table this discussion.

-Andy: it’s his floor and he is allowed.  Proposal: lots of support for tabling this proposal.

-Moment of disruption as lots of peole leave the group to go to the GA

-Eric L: we have not disbanded this meeting.  Everyone sit down.

-8 people left in the meeting.

-Eric L: ok so do we want to continue w/ the next agenda item.

-Eric L: we have a problem w/ why so few people came to the meeting in addition to the hostile intervention.  On the bright side we our gathering support.  Two other organizations now endorse this demand: People’s Organization for Progress in Newark (since 8/11 have been having demonstrations for a jobs proposal: the most prominent african american group in Newark).  On friday night, the labor

outreach committee of Ows also consented to support this jobs for all demand.  The fact that this jobs for all demand is now being supported by the labor outreach group is significant; we will need the consensus of still more working groups if we want to overcome the small but still vocal resistance.

-Eric younger: central Labor council decided to have a march around a slogan of jobs and economic inequality; which is an extreme dilution of what the delegates to it consented on .  This shows what the labor bureaucrats will do to you.  However, jobs are important to the labor.

-Steven: Susan has been talking to some economists about the demand: Dean Baker has some concerns about the call for public sector jobs.

-Peter: I also met with an immigrant rights group.  They didn’t give a full endorsement, but they are central to the immigrant justice OWS group.

-Eric L: clarifying question: there is an immigrant rights group at OWS

-Patrick: Immigrant Rights Justice, group at ows.  Interested in immigrant rights but from a class-based, syndicalist perspective.

-Leah: I went up to occupy Harlem on 142nd st.  There were doing good work today reaching out to people in the neighborhood.  They seem interested and I think we may get an endorsement from them.  Also, a group I belong to loved the demand but were concerned about providing jobs for immigrants w/ criminal records.  But the public works jobs for all program went over well with them.

-Alvin: How many people here have read hr 149 to restore glass-steagall and to what extent do you know glass-steagall?

-Eric L: Next item on the agenda is a general discussion of new demands.  I would like to add a new agenda item, we should address approaches about what to do about this problem of hostile people coming to the group.  Temprature check and group wanted to add it to the agenda: consensus.

-Eric L: Is it ok to add 20 minutes to this general discussion.  Temprature check in 10 minutes.

-Eric L to Leah: opening stack for discussion of all demands; people who want to propose more.

-Alvin: impeachment of Obama as a demand and the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall.

-Patrick: bring up Rick’s Restore Democracy demand

-Eric younger: I have opinions about many of these demands, but we’re contemplating having subgroups to move forward on each demand.  It would be wonderful if we could get some kind of sense here.  Demands around labor unionizing rights (taft-hartley and a much freer right to unionize); financial demand: abborgate debts of private individuals and govt and this is tied to nationalization of the banks.  Briefly on the impeachment idea is that people want the fall of the head of the regime; I think this is a great kind of demand, but I think it should be directly pushed for thru the movement not impeachment.

-Leah: reduction of the workweek.  I’d like to have us working 4 hours a day, but in Europe reducing the work week is a common strategy for getting more people in the work place.  I’m also for liberating folks and the less forced labor we have to do the better.  Democracy in the workplace is a big means to transform the society.  I want to see horizontal structure in the workplace.

-Eric L: taking a break and Leah facilitating

-Michael I met w/ Rick saturday evening.  Rick is contacting a lawyer on how to write an amendment; it is going forward.

-Chris: nationalization of banks: one of the powers of congress is the ability to coin money.  I would like to put it into the jobs demand.  WE could create a national bank; powers of congress to coin money and regulate the powers thereof.  I would put it in the jobs demand along w/ a progressive tax.

-Cynthia: I’m going to try not to sound upset: this should be a nonpartisian.  Bush was even worse than Obama, but now he can’t be impeached.  I think this is going to split this movement: I think anyone who hates Obama has to hate Bush more.  So maybe if you want to have a list of what Obama has done, but need to punish Bush worse.  I think we can up with a demand to agree upon to be the first demand and make the other demands second and third.  Otherwise this is going to take three moneys; I just this to join the jobs committee.  I don’t want to be in the impeachment Obama committee.  I saw on NBC news today that they showed someone holding the sign: “stop the war on workers”.  This appeals to the broad middle-class.  I think we should clarify a first demand.

-Peter: response we’re just getting involved …

-Michael: this is my first time at this meeting.  I heard Jay talking to the Spanish group and the way he presented it was that it was the first official demand from this group.  He alerted me to an anger or division: I’m an editor at the occupy journal; our editorial no demands was about growing the movement and of course demands will be forthcoming.

-Patrick: we’ve taken it twice to the GA but people are opoosed to having demands at all.  And there’s still tons of support w/in the group.

-Eric younger: there is a preamble and its been revised.  It’s changed over time in response to feedback.

-Eric L: point of information: in resonse to Walter’s request, I wrote a short history of the jobs for all demand.  How it arose years ago in the movement and how it has been discussed here.  Passing around: 2 pages.

-Alvin: there is nothing bipartisian about it: we should have gone after Bush, too.  There are solid grounds for these actions, and I’ll present them in writing to the group.  I don’t take it lightly, but he is the President of the US, and these things are happening on his watch and his working at the behest of the City of London Wall ST crowd and against us and that warrant his immediate removal.

-Cynthia were you opposed to Bush

-Alvin: I will provide the group with a list; they’re the same as bush’s.

-Michael: there is a systematic looting going on.  We all agree on us about it not being right, but we have a hard time forming consensus on how to move forward.  We are not the slaves of the govt.

-Wayde: I’m probably not for impeaching Obama as a demand.  It’s one thing to say we’re building a movement about people not having jobs; millions of people agree with this point.  No one is going to be hostile to this point.  There will be a fight w/in the movment when the liberals and union official stry to get us behind Obama.  I’m in our agreement w/ Alvin’s motivation but it seems tactically wrong.

-Michael: already something going on w/ Bush in Canada.

-Eric L: poi: this is a proposed change to the opted language.  Chris has circulated a proposed change to the jobs draft.

-Michael: I think the whole movement is beyond discussing Obama and we’re building something new that doesn’t target the officials.  I don’t the movement will gain its steam.  Is it aimed toward bringing more people into this movement or is it pushing to scare Congress?

-Eric L: point of a demand is to say what people are for.  Really about bringing people into the movement.  Obviously we’re smaller than we usually are, but at our last meeting we set up procedure for moving forward: people are encouraged to set up subgroups with individual people and then refine them and bring them back to this group and then we go to other groups and then the GA.  Through the website and the listserv which is Demands OWS at yahoo groups.  And the website is the Demands group of the NYCGA; we’re number 10 in terms of size.

-Eric L: final point on the agenda is process about what to do about next meeting if people opposed to demands group return.  We’re opening stack for this discussion.

-Eric L: Good news: Jay participated in the ows and Spanish meeting and subject to his confirmation they too have endorsed this demand.  That means we now have three groups endorsing this demand.  I think there is a member of a bureaucratic clique; Patrick is also part of a group that bought the domian of the website called ”occupation wall st”: they bought that domain to project their vision of the group.  One idea is that in the agenda we simply propose not to discuss this idea further.

-Chris: for going into next week: I was thinking maybe we should try out the subgroups while we’re there.  See whichever subgroup you like the most you can see which one you like the most and join it.

-Eric younger: as I understand it the subgroups do not meet during the meetings and you can be in as many subgroups as you want to.

-Chris I thought it would be good to network with other groups

-Alvin: the anti-demands people are not a problem.  I don’t think their arguments hold up, but we need to have good facilitating so that people don’t think the deck is being stacked against them.  It needs to be super-transparent.  Just concentrate on doing facilitating well.  Move forward on what you do and follow procedures.  I don’t think you (Eric) should facilitate the meetings; I thought Eric’s response was great.

-Andy: I entirely agree with Alvin.  The only thing is that if we allow them to speech we are forcing them to live up to their beliefs about direct democracy.  Would be a bad idea to shut anyone up.

-Chaz: I went to a visions and goals meeting and my personal opinion is that they are very disfunctional.  I will keep coming back to this group b/c we are more functional.  I’ve heard that it takes 6 months for this kind of process to gel in an organization and I encourage other people to come to faciliation meeting.

-Eric younger: there is no practical or desirable way to keep these kind of discussions from coming up.  We could have time limits that are consensed upoin in the agenda and that stick; so that we should move on if the group does not have consensus on an item.  There is no basis for not having people on the agenda.

-Eric L: I was faciliating b/c our regular facilitators are not here.  I have a question for those who are saying letting them have their say: we spent 1/2 on their agenda.  If this happens everytime it will be very disruptive.  I think that was a false announcement of an emergency in an attempt to disrupt our meeting.  It isn’t democratic for someone to come repeatedly with a proposal that we disband: that’s a demand for us to cease being a demands group.  I really do question if the best way of running this is to allow a half hour disruption every meeting.

-Walter: I think no other working group has people showing up and saying they should disband.  Then it’s a valid enough process on their own.  It’s not about suppressing them.  It’s easy to allow on the agenda for time blocks for agenda points.  There will always be someone w/ an anti-demands point.  We should always allocate 15 seconds to the anti-demands people.  You’d expect such behavior from police but not from our own movement.

-Andy: in response to Walter, I’ve been a part of several groups who do question each others legitimacy.  This happened in visions and goals in an attempt to stop any meeting.  Women’s caucuses are arguing over other women’s caucuses legitimacy.  I would propose that our meeting look like this: 1) reportbacks, 2) this should be a new demand, 3) miscellanous.  I thought they were going to go for 10 minutes.   I think this new format would solve a lot of problem.

-Chaz: emphasize good facilitatation.  Limit their time to whatever amount of time the group wants to give them.

Wayde: Give them the last item.  Patrick is a sectarian (I know this as an old lefty).  He came to the conclusion this was a mistake. I don’t know what the rules are b/c I’m kind of weird: seems weird that that is in accordance with the rules.  Can I say in my best German that the histpanic committee should disband?!?  Here we’re very nice about it, but I think I would get two black eyes there.  If we can’t say this is out of order, then we need a strong facilitator who limits time and does not put it at the very meeting b/c this bullshit will disolve the group.  I would stop coming to this group.

-Eric L: If we’re together than saying: 1) this agenda item should be last and 2) should be a one minute item.  It will take a consensus to change that agenda.

-Kurt: this is my first time out here.  I’m from Occupy Ralleigh.  In response to Eric L, I think that if someone is here, we’re occupying public space and you have to at least grant people who do not agree with you the right to speak.  A potential solution though is someone brought up the idea of an exectuvive committee that would make decisions w/out the group; awful idea.  In order to get rid of this idea, I decided to present the idea to the GA so that the entire GA blocked the idea.  It has not come up since then since the entire GA has blocked it.  Let that dicussion go through and then block the shit out of it.

-Michael: give him his time and move it to the end.  And if no one wants to listen they should leave.

-Cynthia: how do you make a proposal: we allow them five minutes at the end

-Eric younger: problem with at the end is that many people will have left .  It might be said that the existence of the group is in question: need to say that you cannot disolve the group in a conversation that does not involve anyone.

-Andy: I think it will be very important that we do not set a time or limit them b/c it will make us look undemocratic.  If our argument is solid we can start winning them over.

-Cynthia: we give our own groups time limits; it would be ridiculous to say they have five hours and we have our committess ten to twnety minutes.

-Walter: we did say we meet twice a week for two hours; that’s in our by-laws that we ratified.

-Chaz: I would facilitate the next meeting and strictly enforce time limits.  As long as you are transparent and reasonable then history will judge you as fair.  This is a minor problem.

-Michael: as a first time person at the meeting.  There’s a lot of “us” and “them” and it’s a little volatile sounding.   I know the person you’re talking about and I haven’t heard their justification of their wanting the group to disband and should not get into the us/them.

-Steven: our discussion of demands is largely rhetorical and if we just talked at the start of the meeting about our subgroups and how transparent we are that would help dispel some of this.

-Eric L: no one can disband this group and we should stand against it on procedure.  It is inherently un-demoractic. I would like to have this group consensus on a motion that the motion to disband a group is inherently undemocratic and should not be discussed.  They are a click that is committed against democratic principles, and I’ve seen groups destroyed by similarly sized groups committed against the principle of demoracy.

-Cynthia: I would like to make a proposal: time limit

-Andy: if you are offering that as an amendment, I would suggest that the time limit be 10 minutes.  Quick response to Eric L: silencing people is inherently un-democratic.  That discussion has happened within women’s groups, groups of color, etc.

-Eric L: if Leah is part of a woman’s group and a guy wants to debate whether women’s groups should be allowed.

-Chaz: I have questioned the legitimacy of several groups

-Eric younger: I would offer a friendly ammenment to Eric’s proposal that we consensus on the sentiment that we cannot have the authority to stop the demands discussion.  For that reason, it is out of order.  It is fair to discuss whether you want to have demands, but we should have a discussion that is not possible to have a demand group.

-Leah: this might be wide of the mark, but I think I agree with the Erics about something I feel uncomfortable with: there seems to be so much focus on tactics, but I don’t see ideas or politics, and I feel that the meat that sustains the movement is being sucked dry.

-Chaz: our goal is to establish this as possible a viable alternative to governing ourselves.  It’s not that bad that we’re dwelling on it, but you’re right that we’re spending a lot of time talking about it.

-Eric L: seems to be two conflicting proposals: 1) Twofold proposal: consensus on a statement that we do not have the power to disband the demands group and therefore that issue will be out of order at meetings, but we are open about discussing whether there should be demands.

-Andy: here is my modified proposal of Cynthia: we do report backs, discuss new demands, 10 minute limit at the end to discuss the legitimacy of having demands and we come to consensus that we do not have the power to disband.

-Chaz: that shifts this power to disbanding this group to the GA.

-Eric L: this could be overly rigid by setting the agenda for all future meetings.  I would favor Eric’s proposal over a rigid proposal.

-Eric Younger: I’m not sure if the GA has the power to disband any groups.  This is free association; you do not have the power to disband groups.  Here is how we can word the proposal: “As we understand ourselves and our process we do not accept the idea that the grup should be disbanded should be considered.  However, since people do want to discuss the advisability of demands we should set aside time at the end of the meetings and restrict the time of that discussion as we need to.”

-Cynthia: to clarify: it’s too ridigid. If I wanted to talk about demands etc.

-Andy: first thing we can do is discuss agenda at the start of meetings.

-Eric L: we decide whether to consensus against disbanding this group and we agree to have a dicussion about whether it is advisable to have demands at the end of next meeting.  A) We consensus that disbanding this group is not something we have the power to do and will not be discussed.  B) the advisability of having demands at all will be discussed at the end of next meeting if people want to do so.

-Eric younger: amendment that it be limited to 10 minutes at the end of next meeting on tuesday.

-We reached full consensus on these two proposals.

-Jay: report back: I was at the Spanish speaking working group.  Lilly Gomez had brought it up last week.  I presented it again; we had a good discussion and they voted to come on board.  Hop, labor working group and spanish group.  The South bronx community group is meeting Tuesday and we are going aboard.

-Andy: what’s the format for how you presented this?

-Jay: this came out of the Demands working group, we went to the GA twice and have a lot of discussion about it, and are doing out-reach with various group.  They had lots of questions.  Someone said they wanted the language about immigrants to be more explicit, but I said it was explicit that it would include everyone who lives here (documented or not).

-Next meeting is Tuesday.  Sub-groups meet outside of the time of the working-group’s meeting.  You can set up your own meeting time but don’t want to be in conflict with our meeting time.  Our next meeting is Tuesday at 7:00.

-Eric younger: one reason we had lower attendance is we didn’t know what we were talking about.  So we should talk for a few minutes about them.

-Eric L : people will just announce subgroups they would like to be part of so people can come together.  Let’s try to flesh out the agenda.  Specific agenda items?

-Walter: introduction of new demands.  By Tuesday there will be a second demand to talk about.

-Eric L: other people will propose new demands.

-Chris: how particular will the new demands be.  Some people are saying that the things I’m talking about should be under a separate demand for financial reform.

-Leah: I’m concerned that there is no place to discuss where this movement is going at large.  Could we have a discussion group about where we think this is going at large.

-Peter: no true discussion if you’re going by process

-Wally: difficulty that most people in the park cannot even hear the GA.

-Leah: I think it’s by design that you can’t discuss.

-Eric L: I agree there should be an open discussion group about strategy.  I have one: I do want the next step for jobs for all to be on the agenda for Tuesday.  We need to discuss if we are reading to go back to the GA this coming weekend, the following one, or three weeks from now (Thanksgiving problem)

-Eric younger: I suggest that the format of the dicussion: they be discussed as things that people can affiliate themselves.  There will be more people and higher liklihood that subgroups will form.

-Walter: when individual subgroups can we use the new process: Articulation has got this far, endorsements have come in, this how far we’ve gotten.  [Eric L hands Walter a handout detailing this for jobs for all].  Maybe it would behoove to take on a third meeting where people can have a free flowing discussion.

-Cynthia: should we be asking people we know about what people should support.  I found ows b/c I was looking at petioning congress: found ows thru facebook in July.  Can’t petition govt w/ out a demand; need to have a demand for it to be considered.  (?So need to have a first demand to rally around?)

-Eric L to Cynthia: we did agree to jobs for all as a first one.

-Eric L: meeting over we adjourn.

8:57 meeting adjourns

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